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, 35 (11), 1364-70

Morphological and Biochemical Changes in Gastric Mucosa of Aging Rats

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Morphological and Biochemical Changes in Gastric Mucosa of Aging Rats

A P Majumdar et al. Dig Dis Sci.

Abstract

Although previous data from this laboratory have indicated that aging is associated with increased gastric mucosal proliferative activity, no direct assessment of proliferative potential of the tissue has been made during aging. In order to assess this, and to determine whether changes in mucosal proliferative potential would be reflected in growth of the tissue, we have examined the labeling index (LI), height and morphology of the gastric mucosa in young (4-month-old) and aged (24-month-old) Fischer-344 rats. In addition, tyrosine kinase (Tyr-k) activity and the levels of phosphotyrosine proteins were determined to evaluate their relationship to mucosal proliferative activity. Histologic evaluation revealed a marked atrophy of the mucosal glandular component with 32% reduction in height in aged rats when compared with young animals. In aged rats, there was also a decrease in gland density, resulting in a reduction in the number of epithelial cells of all types with evidence of decreased secretory activity. Despite the occurrence of mucosal atrophy in aged rats, LI in these animals was significantly increased by 28%. This was associated with a parallel rise in mucosal Tyr-k activity, and a two- to threefold increase in the relative concentrations of seven phosphotyrosine membrane proteins with Mr of 120, 105, 90, 60, 55, 48 and 32 kDa. We conclude that (1) although aging is associated with increased gastric mucosal proliferative activity, this does not result in mucosal growth and that (2) Tyr-k and tyrosine phosphorylation of certain proteins play a role in the regulation of gastric mucosal cell proliferation during aging.

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